I apologize for the length of this letter; however I hope you find it informative and entertaining.
Now that Ed Goedhart has entered the political scene in Elko and Humboldt counties, the citizens residing in Assembly District 33 need to know his legislative antics. Ed spends a great deal of time watching his laptop computer during caucus meetings, committee hearings and also during our floor sessions when we are debating and voting on bills. During our floor session Goedhart made headlines which read: Goedhart watches “sexually explicit materials: during Nevada Assembly floor session.”
Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Armagosa Valley, was spotted by a legislative police officer looking at what appeared to be naked women dancing on his computer screen, while attempting to shield his computer screen with a piece of paper in his right hand, according to the legislative police report. There was some concern that a teenage boy, sitting in the gallery behind Goedhart could see Goedhart’s computer screen. The police reported the incident to Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera D-Las Vegas, who said: “I told him this is unacceptable and that it is not going to be tolerated. He, Goedhart. acknowledged the inappropriate behavior and said he wouldn’t be undertaking it again.”
I absolutely would not accept Goedhart’s endorsement as Janine Hansen has. Makes one wonder why a person with such family values would embrace the endorsement of a known “porn watcher.”
Janine Hansen’s literature and letters are full of half truths and innuendos. Consider a few of her outlandish statements. Our schools have an administrator for every “eight” children. The facts are in Elko County the ratio is one administrator to 261 children. In Humboldt County it is 256.
In her letter to the voters Janine stated the facts in her letter came from well documented research by Geoffrey Lawrence of NPRI, and I quote, “Many agencies and schools districts in Nevada have used unlawful account techniques in order to avoid reversion of funds to state accounts. Others have established unauthorized accounts using unrecorded revenues in order to facilitate misappropriation of public funds.” If Janine does not have absolute proof of this happening in the Elko or Humboldt County School District, she owes the Board of Trustees and administration a profound apology.
Janine speaks of great resources of untapped oil in rural Nevada. She indicated there are government prohibitions on exploration, drilling and refineries. This I believe to be untrue. Exploration is always going on. Just last year we had an oil well drilled a few miles northwest of Elko. It was unsuccessful.
It turns out the oil resources she is talking about are located in the area of the Snow Water Lake South of Wells. If she has undisputable evidence of this great resource of untapped oil, I am sure there are oil companies willing to drill. As Assembly candidate Mike McFarlane said, this is nothing but a “myth.”
In her letter, Janine blasts John Ellison for his stand on the building of public facilities. The question was, would you vote for the facilities we have in Elko if it meant a tax increase for construction or continuing support of the facilities? John answered yes and Janine answered no. If a majority of the citizens had the same mindset as Janine Hansen we would not have a Convention Center, Library, Jail, or South Fork Dam, K-12 school facilities, Great Basin College, Senior Citizens Center, California Trail Interpretive Center or the Museum.
Action speaks louder than words. Janine’s words: “I have fought to protect Nevada’s land and property from federal encroachment and to keep our rural roads open.” To my knowledge she has not attended one meeting to support the Elko County Commissioners in their ongoing fight to keep the U.S. Forest Service from closing many, many roads in Elko County.
In her brochure Janine states she has successfully worked with both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature. Consider the facts. There are 82 total Democrats and Republicans running for the State Senate and Assembly during this election. In her voters guide, one Democrat and only 19 Republicans responded to her appeal, less than a 25 percent response. Even her nephew running for the Assembly from Sparks and her favorite Assemblyman Ed Goedhart did not respond. Seventy Five percent of those running feel it is a waste of time and energy.
In 2003 when the Legislature passed the tax increase, Janine could not get one Democrat to vote against the tax increase to keep it from becoming law. Again in 2009 she could not get one Democrat to vote against the tax increase. During the 2009 session, the Domestic Partnership would not have become law if Ed Goedhart had not jumped ship and voted against the governor’s veto. Janine could not even keep Goedhart on board, yet alone persuade an extra Democrat to vote against the Domestic Partnership legislation.
Janine talks a good talk, but the fact is she is “ineffective” when it comes to persuading legislators to vote one way or the other. She has no credibility among the legislators. One of Janine’s favorite topics is state employees and their exorbitant salaries. The State of Nevada 2010 Salary and Benefits survey reflects the following:
1. When data from all survey respondents is considered, the State of Nevada average minimum salary lags behind by .48% and the maximum salary lags behind by 3.30%. 2. In comparison to Nevada public employers, the State of Nevada lags behind the minimum salary by 11.65% and the maximum salary by 6.02%. 3. In comparison to western states employers, the State of Nevada average minimum salary is ahead by 8.47% and the maximum salary is ahead by 1.93%. 4. In comparison to Nevada private employers, the Slate of Nevada lags behind the minimum salary by 8.82% and the maximum salary by 4.95%.
Some may wonder why I supported the tax increase during the 2009 session. There was $2 billion cut from the budget and we were going to lose essential services. A number of the honor camps were going to be closed. Honor camps are a great asset to rural Nevada as well as putting the inmates to work. The first two slated for closure were Tonopah and Pioche, both in Ed Goedharts’ district. Without the tax increase, 11 of the rural mental health clinics would close. All but two of these clinics were saved.
K-12 educations would suffer with larger class sizes. I worked very hard for the Elko County School District to have class size of 22 pupils per teacher in grades K-6. 1 didn’t want to see this ratio go through the roof. The entire .35 cent raise in the sales tax was placed into the distributive school fund for K-12 expenditures.
Great Basin College means a lot to Elko, White Pine, Eureka, Humboldt and Nye County. It doesn’t mean much to Las Vegas or Reno. To protect our own I voted for the tax increase, which enabled agencies crucial to rural Nevada to remain open. Examples are State Parks, Department of Agriculture, Narcotics Task Force, Child and Family Services, and the crucial health insurance plan which our state, school and local retirees depended upon.
The state business license fee was raised from $100 to $200 per year. I voted against this tax increase. The fact is many small businesses are paying less now than before because of a two-tiered system enacted during the 2009 session. The system reduced the initial rate from .063% to .05% on wages paid that are $62,500 or less per quarter.
During the calendar year of 2009 there were 267 new business license issued by the city for Elko and through September 2010 there have been 190 new licenses issued. The increase or decrease in business license fee does not seem to be having an effect on the new business coming to Elko or the old ones expanding.
The government services tax on automobile registration did have an unintended consequence and put a greater burden on older vehicles and large semi truck trailers. I have introduced a bill draft to take care of this problem and get the rates lowered to where they should be.
Janine states in her letter and other propaganda that the Legislature is planning to increase spending to the tune of $1.8 billion dollars. I believe this to be untrue. It is either Janine’s wish or another false statement of NPRI.
Let’s examine the facts. The prison population is flat. In fact it is 500 inmates below the projected budget. This is due to the action of a special committee, of which I was a member, which increased the good time credits for time served providing the inmate had no violations. The credits were also increased if the inmate completed educational and work-related programs. The next legislative will be examining good time credits for B felons to see if this classification warrants increased good time credits.
The K-12 student population statewide is flat. I believe the great majority of legislators do not support increased spending but do support the decrease of funding in many areas of state government. I believe next year’s legislative budget talks will be as Brian Sandoval, candidate for governor, states, we will collect $5.8 billion and that will be our budget and our spending plan.
It seems as though Janine is running against me rather than John Ellison. I would welcome the opportunity to oppose Janine Hansen. I would be glad to put my record of public service and accomplishments up against hers any day.
Why am 1 supporting John Ellison? I have watched for many years how hard he has worked to serve his constituents. John understands our mining, ranching, and tourism industries and will fight to protect our rural way of life. John is honest and trustworthy; he will listen to his constituents. John will listen to all sides before he votes on any issue. His votes have consistently been for what he thinks is right for us as citizens and taxpayers. His desire is to serve the people of Assembly District 33 in the best possible way. Service above self is his motto. He will be a legislator the people of Assembly District 33 can and will be proud of.
John C. Carpenter
Reprinted with permission from the Elko Daily Free Press